Woman fearing her husbands rage if she was forced to return

Concerning Ms. R.S.A.A. (represented by counsel, Marie Louise Frederiksen) vs Denmark for violation of articles 1 and 2 (d), read in conjunction with article 2 (c) and (f), and article 15 (4) of CEDAW.

The applicant is a stateless Palestinian raised in a refugee camp near Damascus. She has held a Jordanian passport since her marriage to a Jordanian national and resided in Jordan with her husband and family. She fled Jordan with her two daughters because her and her daughters were subject to threats and abuse from her husband and his family. The abuse escalated when the author opposed the forced marriage of her then 20-year-old daughter to a much older man. When a 35-year-old man asked to marry the couple’s middle daughter, who was 15 at the time, the author decided to flee to Denmark.

The applicant fears that if she was returned to Jordan, she would be subject to the rage of her husband, because she has dishonoured him, and she fears that he will kill her and their daughters. She also notes that she would not be able to seek protection from the Jordanian authorities, even more so because of her status as a stateless Palestinian refugee.

The Danish Immigration Service and the Refugee Appeals Board rejected her application as they noted that her statements were inconsistent. The Committee in their decision from the 15th of July 2019 found that the Boards decision relied exclusively on a number of inconsistent statements and the inferred non-credibility of the author, but should instead have undertaken an individualized assessment of the risk that the applicant and her daughters would face if they were forcibly to Jordan. The Committee notes with concern that patriarchal attitudes are on the rise within State authorities and society. As such, the Committee found that a forced return would amount to a breach of articles 2 (d) (e) and (f) and has recommended that the State reopen the applicant’s asylum case.

The State has taken the Committee’s views into account and decided to reopen the case.

The applicant and her daughters have been allowed to reside in Denmark during the committee’s examination of the case.

See the full CEDAW statement in the attached PDF.

22. October 2019

  • Decision: 15. July 2019
  • Comm: Gender